Author Topic: External door curtains - Idle curiosity  (Read 527 times)

Online oldfashionedgirl

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External door curtains - Idle curiosity
« on: Sunday 21 November 21 11:28 GMT (UK) »
I recently had the delight of being allowed to copy some photos of my house from the 1940s approx.
One is of two ladies standing on the front door steps in summer.

I noticed there was a white curtain pulled back on the outside of the door.
I just assumed it was probably something to do with the war blackout but when I was showing the photo to my mum she said houses used to have canvas door curtains in summer to protect the paint.

It’s logical for our front door as since it is south facing it gets very hot, in fact the door expands and contracts a lot with the weather. I expect there wasn’t the technology then for paint which could endure such movement.

I tried to look these curtains up but sifting through all the ‘shopping’ stuff was tedious.

I was just wondering if anyone remembers these ?
Presumably they were not a permanent feature and were just put up in summer?

Just my idle wondering  :)


Offline Milliepede

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Re: External door curtains - Idle curiosity
« Reply #1 on: Sunday 21 November 21 11:32 GMT (UK) »
Not heard of that to cover front doors.

All I remember are those door curtains containing long strips of coloured ribbons that wafted in the breeze.
They were put up in summer on the conservatory door to stop the flies coming in!
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Online oldfashionedgirl

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Re: External door curtains - Idle curiosity
« Reply #2 on: Sunday 21 November 21 11:49 GMT (UK) »
Oh yes, I'd forgotten them !
Thanks Milliepede you just whisked be back many years to a caravan holiday in Wales when I was very young.
I remember being fascinated by the colours and platting the strips together to see which colours went together.
Wow ! I didn't even know that I still had that memory in my brain, it was a very dusty one  ;D


Offline Milliepede

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Re: External door curtains - Idle curiosity
« Reply #3 on: Sunday 21 November 21 12:07 GMT (UK) »
Glad to get the dust off!  I used to plait them as well which let more flies in  ;D  Happy days. 
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Offline ggrocott

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Re: External door curtains - Idle curiosity
« Reply #4 on: Sunday 21 November 21 12:28 GMT (UK) »
We had one, it was made of striped canvas and was put up every spring and removed in the autumn at the same time that all the other curtains were changed indoors - thick velvet ones for winter, light cotton ones for summer.  It was the job off my sister and I to change the hooks from one set to the other.  Dad took one set down and put the other set up, Mum washed the cotton ones or hung the velvet ones on the line and attacked them with the carpet beater to get the dust out - no dry cleaners on every corner at that time.

I remember the internal door curtains too - we didn't have one but a family friend did - every time we visited I spend a lot of time playing with those strips!
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Online GR2

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Re: External door curtains - Idle curiosity
« Reply #5 on: Sunday 21 November 21 12:30 GMT (UK) »
I think external door curtains disappeared about the same time as shops stopped using cloth awnings to keep the sun off their windows.

Online Viktoria

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Re: External door curtains - Idle curiosity
« Reply #6 on: Sunday 21 November 21 13:11 GMT (UK) »
I remember another type of door curtain, they were so  that  the sun( that yellow round thing that used to shine in the sky!) would not blister the paint on the front door,it also gave some privacy if the front door was open but the residents did not want people to see in ,so the curtain was drawn across.
Most  people  had their front doors “ grained” ie, painted and varnished to look like wood .A skilled job and so not cheap.
Paints were not so accommodating as now ,and would blister and crack, and your front door and step and the flagstones were what people judged you by.
Viktoria.

Offline Greensleeves

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Re: External door curtains - Idle curiosity
« Reply #7 on: Sunday 21 November 21 13:39 GMT (UK) »
I remember external door curtains - they were generally made of something like deckchair canvas in the area where my grandparents lived, so often brightly-coloured.
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Online oldfashionedgirl

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Re: External door curtains - Idle curiosity
« Reply #8 on: Sunday 21 November 21 13:53 GMT (UK) »
Thanks everyone for your replies, most interesting.

It’s amazing the things I didn’t know existed.

A few local shops i.e. fishmonger, greengrocer (all south facing) still have awnings.

In fact looking at old photos of Princes Street, Edinburgh (also SF) nearly all the shops have awnings which can be fooled away.

I just never realised that domestic homes had sun shielding curtains.

Thanks for the info.